Jump to content


  • Keisha Mathew

    Keisha J. Mathew is a mom, wife, artist, social activist, writer, party planner extraordinaire, licensed clinical social worker, and youth and family advocate with skills and experience in the mental health field. She lives in West Ridge/West Rogers Park with her husband, two kids, and their Yorkie, Zoomy Zoom.

    How to become an anti-racist parent

    Anti-racist resources to guide you in your work to dismantle anti-Blackness for your children, and everyone's children.


    Since the pandemic began, it has been hard to deny that racism continues to hinder people of color’s well being. Asian Americans have faced harassment and even violence with the tacit approval of the president, since he referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” and later the “Kung Flu.” Additionally, we’ve seen the harmful consequences of our modern lifestyle of convenience on communities of color. People of Latinx and African descent are disproportionately the drivers delivering our meals, stocking our food in the grocery stores, and boxing our online orders. For the first time in my generation, many of us are seeing how our luxury requires that these essential workers risk their health. Coronavirus cases for Black and Latinx essential workers are the highest in the nation compared to whites. 

    [Related: Show some love to these Chicago Black-owned businesses]

    Like most Americans, I have seen and heard of countless incidents of police reacting to Black lives as if they are villains from a Marvel film. Let’s be honest, long before the pandemic, it has become something most Americans have glanced at, chose to be ambivalent about and have found ways to justify the excessive use of force.

    If you have a social media account, you know that the frequency of police brutality is shocking. Every day, residents are documenting footage that has changed the perspectives of millions of people who have never seen (innocent or accused) people treated this way. You, or someone you know, may have tried to find justifications for the brutality aimed at unarmed people of color: their flawed track record (George Floyd); they didn’t follow the police’s commands (Philando Castille); he went through an abandoned building (Ahmaud Arbury). But what can you say about Breonna Taylor who was sleeping in her home with her partner when she was shot by police? What have you told your children about all of the racial trauma and injustice happening to people of color in America? Do you explain to them that the root of racial injustice is white privilege?

    The Rodney King verdict showed me as a child that my skin was not valued in this country as much as white skin. Today, my brown skin children are learning the same harsh truth. Despite the progress of the Civil Rights movement of my mother’s generation to the “post-racial” Obama era of mine, the structures that hold white supremacy in place are as strong as ever. Despite the great efforts I make as a parent to position my child to obtain the American dream, they are still subjected to racial trauma simply because of their skin color. 

    In order to eradicate this 401-year-old virus, we have to acknowledge that anti-Blackness in all of its forms--institutional, interpersonal, covert and overt--is the culprit. White Americans have to step up to take this undeserving burden off the backs of Black people. Non-Black parents of color must also do the work so they don’t become accomplices to anti-Blackness. 

    So, where should you start? Below, you will find some remarkable resources to guide you in your work to dismantle anti-Blackness, for my children and for yours.

    Resources to build your antiracist practice

    For parents of all hues:

    Black Lives Matter

    Antiracism Project

    10 Words and Phrases You Might Not Know Are Racist (Red Tricycle)

    Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America

    Recommended Resources for Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement (Lecture in Progress)

    For Latinx families:

    Why Every Latino Has a Responsibility to the Black Lives Matter Movement (Repeating Islands blog)

    For Asian & South Asian families:

    Anti-Racism Resources (Asian Women for Health)

    VIDEO: We Cannot Stay Silent About George Floyd (Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj)

    For babies (it's never too early to build their antiracist vocabulary!):

    A Is for Activist board book



    Keisha Mathew

    Keisha J. Mathew is a mom, wife, artist, social activist, writer, party planner extraordinaire, licensed clinical social worker, and youth and family advocate with skills and experience in the mental health field. She lives in West Ridge/West Rogers Park with her husband, two kids, and their Yorkie, Zoomy Zoom.





    More related articles

    Getting into Harvard doesn't need to start in preschool

    Hoping your preschooler ends up at an Ivy League school? The biggest predictor of student success is engaged, involved parents.

    Get your kids to stop fighting

    How to help your kids navigate the conflict that comes with sibling rivalry.

    I learned that hard way that comparison is the thief of parenting joy

    It took me years to realize it, but comparing my parenting or my daughter's development to others' was taking the fun out of being a mom.

    6 ways to support your child’s social-emotional growth

    Just as we nurture and challenge a child’s cognitive IQ, we need to do the same for a child’s emotional IQ.



  • Join NPN!
    Become a part of our Chicago parenting community. Learn about member benefits and start connecting to other city parents today!

Privacy Policy Membership Terms

© 2022 Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Thank you for visiting our site. Browsing this site is an acceptance of our We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and Terms of Use.